Typhoon warning lifted
The Central Weather Bureau lifted its sea warning for Typhoon Imbudo at 2:30pm yesterday as the waters off the eastern and southeastern coasts were no longer threatened by the typhoon. "The typhoon has moved out of the Bashi Channel and the southern part of the Taiwan Strait," a bureau official said. Imbudo brought heavy rains to Taitung and Hualien counties yesterday morning, but the rainfall slowed down in the afternoon.
Chen opens new hospital
President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday that it is the responsibility of the government to take care of people with chronic diseases and the elderly in remote areas. Chen made the remarks during the inauguration of the Hsinwu branch of Taoyuan General Hospital. He said that he visited Kuanyin township, Taoyuan County, earlier this month to attend a lotus-flower festival and now was in Hsinwu to celebrate the inauguration of the new hospital, which he said shows that with the concerted efforts of central and local government, Taoyuan County will improve. He said that in Hsinwu and Kuanyin townships, a single doctor has to serve an average of 3,500 residents, which is a far cry from one doctor for every 750 residents in some other areas. This, he said, shows the inadequacy of medical facilities in remote areas. The new hospital can accommodate 30 to 40 beds but will later expand to 200 beds once the rest of its facilities have been finished.
New glowing fish on offer
Taikong Corp, which has the exclusive technology to create fish genetically altered to glow, yesterday unveiled the latest addition to its fluorescent subaquatic menagerie -- a purple glowing zebra fish. The creature, with dark stripes that contain fluorescence genes taken from red coral, will be displayed at a biotechnology exhibition in Taipei from today through Sunday. Taikong first developed a green fluorescent ricefish using jellyfish genes in a 2001 cooperation project with National Taiwan University. The company began marketing the green fluorescent ricefish in May, after spending two years researching and developing technology to ensure the fish are completely sterile. "This will help do away with concerns about influencing the ecological balance and at the same time protect our business interests," the company said. The company is eyeing a global market in the fish worth NT$100 million (US$2.91 million) annually, with orders arriving from China, France, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, the US and the Netherlands.
Yu prioritizes bills
Premier Yu Shyi-kun designated five draft bills designed to clean up politics as the top priority of the next legislative session that will open in September. Notable among the five bills are a lobbying bill, which, the premier said, will ensure the free and thorough expression of public views while preventing the improper use of money and influence-peddling. Another bill will regulate the political donations made by vested interest groups to political parties. Another two bills will regulate local political parties and allow for the recovery of assets unfairly obtained by political parties. The fifth bill is intended to guarantee public access to government archives. Yu said the five bills will upgrade the country's democracy and prevent business tycoons and gangsters from pulling strings in the legislative process.